External News in Brief

Kazakhstan and Austria agreed to strengthen cooperation in energy efficiency and the green economy as part of broader efforts to boost bilateral trade during the recent visit of an Austrian delegation, including Secretary General for Foreign Affairs in the Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs Johannes Peterlik, to Astana. Austrian investment in Kazakhstan has exceeded $5.7 billion since 2005, and more than 50 companies backed by Austrian capital operate in the country. Kazakhstan expressed interest in projects in agriculture, the green and digital economies, industry and infrastructure development. The visit also covered regional and international issues. The sides also emphasised the significance of the upcoming adoption of the new European Union strategy for relations with Central Asia.

Kazakhstan invited Japan to join the fourth Meeting of Speakers of Eurasian Countries’ Parliaments, entitled “Greater Eurasia: Dialogue. Trust. Partnership,” Sept. 23 and 24 in Astana. Kazakh Ambassador to Japan Erlan Baudarbek-Kozhatayev handed the invitation to the Speaker of the Japanese House of Representatives Tadamori Oshime. Oshime recalled the visit of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev to Japan in November 2016, which was followed by the signing of an expanded partnership agreement.

Tourism opportunities in the Turkestan region, named for an ancient city in southern Kazakhstan that boasts more than 1,500 years of history, were recently presented in Indonesia. Many historic and sacred sites, including the Khoja Ahmed Yassawi mausoleum and the Arystan Baba mausoleum, generated interest among Indonesians, who frequently make pilgrimages to Mecca and to some sites in Central Asia. “The Central Asian route includes ancient cities such as Bukhara and Samarkand in Uzbekistan, the rock city Petra in Jordan and other countries as well. The geography is also expanding, incorporating sacred sites in the Turkestan region,” said Turkistan Invest External Relations Managing Director Bayan Kayupova. The Indonesian side suggested launching direct flights between Almaty and Jakarta; the countries are currrently linked via Kuala Lumpur. “The launch of a direct flight will stimulate the flow of tourists, including pilgrimages in your region. The current population of Indonesia is around 270 million people and 90 percent of them are Muslims. I think many will be interested in Turkestan,” said special representative of the Indonesian President Aditya Perdana.

Kazakhstan’s Embassy in Vietnam marked the launch of the first rail transit and transport corridor on the Vietnam-China-Kazakhstan-Europe route, with Kazakhstan Temir Zholy, the country’s national rail operator. Goods in the amount of 1,686 TEUs [20-foot equivalent units] were for the first time shipped from Hanoi via the Vietnamese border railway terminal Dong Dang and then through China and Kazakhstan to Duisburg in Germany. The rail shipment of LG and Samsung goods from Hanoi to Duisburg took 22 days, including two days for the transportation of goods from Vietnam to China. The shipping time is expected to decrease to 19 days. The project, which kicked off in 2016, is part of Kazakhstan’s efforts to integrate into a global transport system and explore its transport potential, in particular through Kazakhstan’s Nurly Zhol programme and China’s Belt and Road Initiative. It is also expected to boost trade between Kazakhstan and Vietnam, which last year reached $467.2 million.

Kazakhstan’s Nomad Club has opened its doors at New York University, welcoming visitors to learn about Kazakh culture, history and traditions, reports Kazakh TV. The centre will also organise Kazakh language courses. “We set up the Nomad Club for Kazakh students to feel at home while they are far away. This also enables them to share their culture and traditions with foreign students, so that perhaps they visit Kazakhstan,” said Nomad Club President Darkhan Munaitbasov.